State governments may be expanding wealth gap - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

State governments may be expanding wealth gap

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The amount of income taxes demanded from the wealthy has been declining in many states while the poor have been asked to pay a greater percentage of their income through higher sales taxes.
    
That shift in tax policy has been promoted in many states as a way to boost the economy by encouraging businesses to grow. But it also could be contributing to a widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S.
    
Economists point to a variety of factors for the gap, including changes in labor markets and federal policies. Yet data suggest that state governments also may play a role.
    
While states have been gradually changing their tax structure, a growing number have been reducing their social safety nets by paring back welfare and unemployment benefits.

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